Bringing Them All Back Home

Moral Injury

In 2012 the suicide rate among combat veterans reached an all-time high with some 22 veterans dying by their own hand every single day. Deaths to suicide among these veterans were actually higher than combat-related deaths that year in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Despite efforts by the Veteran’s Administration and other agencies, suicide deaths among combat veterans continues to be a major problem with approximately one veteran suicide every hour. This rate is twice that of those who never served … [Read more...]

Abortion: The Hardest Choice

I don't walk in her shoes, so I can't describe them to you.

Abortion is a hard subject to talk about. Coming up with theoretical situations to illustrate a standpoint is usually not helpful because doing so fails to express the complexity of the decision whether or not to end a pregnancy. This decision, more often than not, comes with other major life-changing events and it is not only a medical concern, but a deeply spiritual and difficult ethical decision. By the grace of Artemis, I have never been faced with a pregnancy that I considered ending and I … [Read more...]

A 2000-Year Journey in Interfaith

Pennsic

I have just returned from my annual vacation in Pennsylvania where my husband and I attend Pennsic War, the world’s largest medieval re-enactment event. This year nearly 11,000 of us who are fascinated by the Middle Ages camped together at Cooper’s Lake enjoying two weeks of friendship and learning in the hills of Western Pennsylvania. During that time we took classes on medieval arts and skills, fought mock battles, danced, sang the hours away, renewed friendships and made new friends. All of th … [Read more...]

One River, Many Wells

fountains

In my work as a hospital chaplain I never know from day to day what I may be called upon to work with as I step into a patient’s room.  Huntsville, Alabama is a religiously diverse community which includes Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, Christians of many denominations, Pagans, Baha'i and others.  While most of my patient encounters to date have been with Christian families, I have also been called upon to act as chaplain in grief work with other faiths as well.  Such encounters demand that … [Read more...]

The Whole Community

KHyardsale-4

I haven't been writing all that much here lately, partly because life happens and partly because much of what I had to say was beginning to take a negative tone. I don't like to dwell on the negative because it's important to me to put things that are beautiful and positive out into the world.Being critical and bitter is easy; being genuinely positive is much harder.As our May activity, Women of Faith helped put together a yard sale to benefit Kymari House, a local non-profit that … [Read more...]

Growing the Interfaith Garden

redbuds

It is April now and here in the South that means that spring is all around us.  The redbuds and dogwoods are in bloom and the trees in the woods behind my house are covered in a pale green lace of tiny leaves.  As the earth has warmed I have been drawn more and more to get my fingers in the dirt.  I’ve been cleaning out the detritus of fall leaves, pruning the rose bushes, and planting new flowers and herbs for the coming season.  It is a fitting reminder that the promise of life renewed has been … [Read more...]

A Thousand Years from Now

Parthenon-Dusk

I want to start the year off on a positive, forward-looking note and imagine what our work here will produce in the distant future. There's this fantasy that tumbles around in my head from time to time of a world in which Pagan temples of various sorts are common. Because it's my fantasy, the temple takes the shape of one to honor the gods of Ancient Greece and there's a sanctuary with altars and various statues, office space for the priests and priestesses, a daycare, and a small library. We … [Read more...]

They’ve Got My Back

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Little white country church, a beautiful Sunday afternoon, friends, cookies and punch on the picnic tables outside, a harpist and flautist playing a pleasant half-hour prelude - this was the scene that greeted me when I arrived at Clayton Memorial UU in Newberry, S.C. on October 20 for a panel discussion called “Interfaith Perspectives on Compassion.”My colleagues on the panel were Bishop Herman Yoos of the S.C. Synod of the ELCA (Lutheran) Church, Imam Omar Shaheed, Rabbi Jonathan Case, and … [Read more...]


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